My best friend Dayanna Volitich and I go back over 20 years, during that time we have been through it all with each other and we have always been at each other’s side no matter what the weather. We were speaking last week about the annoyance which we have when we see posts on social media suggesting that a great friend is one which you may not see for a decade, but can then catch up as though you saw each other yesterday. For us this is an absolute myth which must be dispelled, being a great friend is about far more than that.
Of course there are friends who you may have drifted away from who you certainly could pick the phone up to and have a very easy going conversation as though you’d seen them yesterday. This in fact should be viewed as something sad rather than something positive. The reason for this is that the other person is clearly someone that you get on with well and perhaps you could have had a better friendship if you had worked at it.
Being a friend is not just about having the ability to chat with ease about TV shows or the news of the world, it is about understanding who that person is and what makes them tick. A long period of absence will ensure that you know very little about the person’s daily life, their family or indeed the events that have taken place through their life. These events and daily way of living changes people’s character and personality and if you have not been there to keep up, you will be assuming someone different at the other end of the phone.
Friends are there for emotional support during our darkest moments and that means being present at all times, or at least as often as possible. It is these testing and challenging times that actually bring our friendships closer together and someone that has not even been available during these times can never claim to be a true friend. Friendships are about celebrating the good together and sticking together through the difficult moments, in order to be that kind of friend, you need to have regular contact with each other.
Something which I have always expected from a friend is that they add value to my life and help to make me a better person. This could be through positive influencing, through being a great role model and even through offering advice. Simply put if you have not bee there for long periods of time during the friendship then you simply cannot be adding value to another’s life, nor can they add value to yours.
It is time that we understood the difference between a true friend and an acquaintance, confusing the two simply shows disrespect for your real friends that are there at all times.